Bumpy Wheel

Bumpy Wheel

A Story by Samuel Dickens
"

It ain't round!

"

As usual, I grabbed the wrong grocery cart and went bumpity-bumpity down the aisle.

Maybe there's a wad of gum or something stuck to a wheel.

I bent down to see.

A jelly bean! For goodness sake! For the prices Piggly Wiggly charges, you'd think they could keep the jelly beans off the floor!

I cleaned the sticky mess from the wheel with my comb and proceeded on.

Bump-bump, Bump-bump.

Now, what?

I bent down again to examine the infernal wheels.

A flat spot! How in the hell do grocery carts get flat spots on their wheels?

Spinning the left rear wheel and despising its imperfectness, I saw a foot with pink polished toenails, wearing a flip flop, just inches from my nose.

"Excuse me." said the foot's presumed owner.

I mumbled something and tried to scoot over.

"I'm sorry, sir; I just need to reach over you and get to the canned tomatoes."

Curses! Can't a guy fix his wheel?

What was the use? I stood up and sped off toward the cart corral.

I'll just get another damned cart!

Moments later, I pushed a smooth-rolling cart through the store. Nirvana, at last. My teeth unclenched and all was well.

Now, for those hotdogs and TV dinners.

I found the frozen foods and stood with lasagna in one hand and spaghetti with meat sauce in the other.

Hmm. This lasagna has a lot of cheese, but not much meat. This spaghetti has meat--well, it looks like meat--and no cheese.

In my confusion, I dropped the lasagna. As I reached down for it, I saw that foot again. Two of them, actually; both in flip flops, with pink polished toenails. I knew they needed more room and squeezed myself  over.

" I'm sorry, again. If you'll just move your cart back a little, so I can get to the frozen vegetables."

Good grief! Am I being punished for having a smooth rolling cart?  

I stood up and moved out of her way. She must've noticed my frozen food choices and said, "Craving Italian, are we?"

I had no choice but to look my tormentor in the face. "Uh, yeah."

God, is this Trish? She's my big "if"! Thirty years ago, we went on one date together and I was afraid to even hold her hand because she was so pretty! Oh, man, she's still a knockout!

Her big brown eyes caught mine and held them.

"Do I know you?" she asked.

The scared teen in me grunted, "I think so."

"Are you Buddy White, the one who drove that '55 Ford with whitewall tires and baby moon hubcaps?"

Any girl who'd remember those beautiful hubcaps deserves a reply. "Yeah, that's me."

Trish and I rolled our carts together down Piggly Wiggly aisles, while catching up on old times. After checkout, we went to her car and I loaded her groceries. We were both single again, and I really wanted to ask her out.

I told her, "Well, it sure is nice seeing you again."

She smiled and replied, "It's nice seeing you, too."

Things became awkward. The scaredy-cat in me wanted to run, but wheel-man stalled for time. I bent down low to eye her tires.

"You know, this left rear tire is wearing unevenly. My friend has a tire shop and I could... "

Trish put her hand on my shoulder. "I'm making Italian tonight. Would you like to come over?"

Graciously, I accepted. "Why... yes, yes, of course."

On the way back to my apartment, I may have hit a pothole and dented a rim. It bumps like hell, but who cares? I'll fix it Monday. Or maybe Tuesday.

 

 


© 2017 Samuel Dickens



Author's Note

Samuel Dickens
Well, ya gotta write somethin'.

My Review

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Featured Review

You have a way of making a simple trip to the grocery store a romantic adventure filled with delightful images and characters who come alive. I am glad I came upon this one tonight. It is definitely one to file away into my 'feel good' selection of writing :-)

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

3 Months Ago

Thank you. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed it.



Reviews

This strikes me as an Everyman sort of story, since I am sure we can all relate it to somehow, especially with a lost love or an opportunity we regret we never took. What struck me was the narrator's thoughts. They're real. Simple, but in that anyone would understand what he's experiencing and thinking. Reading stories like this, ones that evoke memories or prior experiences, truly strike at the heart of why we write. We just hope that someone will appreciate our experiences. I'll be back to read more of your work.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

2 Years Ago

Thank you, David. Being real is what I strive for, and when someone enjoys what I've done, it makes .. read more
A sweet story, Sam. The hope of love cures lots of bumps, doesn't it?
And oh, like you, I detest those bumpy wheels. They make a dreaded task even worse. Grrr!

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

3 Years Ago

Thank you. Yeah, I try not to get those.
A great piece of "everything for a reason" here, Sam! I was in the mood of a feel-good story tonight, and I knew I'd find one on your pages. :)

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

3 Years Ago

Thank you, Rita. I'm very happy to have made you feel good.
Loved it Loved it Sam oh Sam. The way you write it brings joy and tears to my tired eyes. Thank you so much for your writing. D

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

3 Years Ago

Thank you, Daphne. It's very nice to see you again.
Daffy

3 Years Ago

been drawing, you gave me inspiration, I will send you one or two to peruse on the messages.
Hi Sam, a great read, I giggled at the ending,every supermarket has some trolleys which seem to have a mind of their own. Moonbeam

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

3 Years Ago

Thank you, Moonbeam. I'm glad you got a giggle from it.
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JC
to me, this is real writing, truth in its complex simplicity. kind of made me think of American Splendor and Bukowski in his later years when he didn't drink so much, but a complete voice of your own. From your profile biography it seems you have been leading a very full life, looking forward to reading more. I always feel like I am the only one grabbing the messed up carts and ending up in line with the worst of the bunch, makes me feel better knowing there are others out there.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

3 Years Ago

Thank you, Jason. I'm very pleased to know you enjoyed the simple story. No, you're not the only one.. read more
You always write great stuff, Sam. You make a supermarket sound exciting. I'm going to the store tomorrow. Maybe 'll find a story there.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

3 Years Ago

I'm sure you could. Thanks, Marie.
Kismet.... in flip-flops..... Sam I think ya just found yer new post retirement vocation.... shopping cart wheel repair tech.... sounds kinda catchy...

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Samuel Dickens

3 Years Ago

Thanks, Bill. Yeah, I can handle them wheels. (Wish they weren't so close to the ground, though)

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Added on September 27, 2014
Last Updated on June 10, 2017

Author

Samuel Dickens
Samuel Dickens

Alma, AR



About
Greetings, all. I'm a seventy year-old father of three sons who enjoys writing, art, music, motorcycles, cooking, and a few other things. From 1967 to 1988, I served in the US Navy, where I traveled t.. more..

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